Versailles football team tops Greenville 27-0 in teams’ final scrimmage


VERSAILLES – Greenville’s inexperience showed while Versailles played about as well as it could have hoped in the teams’ final scrimmage of the season on Friday night in Versailles.

Versailles outscored Greenville 27-0 in three quarters of varsity football Friday night before the junior varsity and freshmen players took over to finish up the scrimmage. Both offensively and defensively, Versailles coach Adam Miller left the field feeling really good about his team.

“The kids did a great job coming out, and I thought we had good energy,” Miller said. “Defense played great all throughout. Offensively we started off well, had a little lull where we made some mistakes but ended up picking it up at the end. So I thought it was a good all-around showing for us.”

Greenville coach Aaron Shaffer said it’s not time for the Green Wave to panic, but Friday night did expose several weaknesses for the Wave to improve on prior to their regular season opener.

“We have to grow up quick,” Shaffer said. “We’re a young football team, and what I saw tonight is we made a lot of mistakes tonight that young football teams will sometimes make when you’re going maybe into a game-like atmosphere with lights and fans and things like that.”

Friday’s scrimmage was like a regular game with a couple exceptions. Neither team returned kicks or punts, and the varsity squads only played three quarters.

The night began with Greenville’s offense going three and out then the Wave’s punt was blocked, giving Versailles great field position near midfield to start its first possession.

It took Versailles just three players to cover 49 yards with Noah Grisez capping off the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the scrimmage.

Greenville again went three and out on its second possession, which was followed again by another Versailles touchdown drive. This time the Tigers went 62 yards in eight plays with Garrett Thompson scoring on a 1-yard run with 5:49 remaining in the first quarter to put Versailles up 14-0.

“Defensively with an offense of that caliber, which they’re going to be a pretty dang good offense, a pretty dang good team period, but with the backs we saw tonight we’ve got to be able to corral them up and get them tackled,” Shaffer said. “You can’t give them the extra yards after contact and things like that.”

Greenville picked up its first first down of the night on its third drive but once again had to punt.

“We’ve got to eliminate the mistakes for sure,” Shaffer said. “At times offensively we’d get something going (and) we’d get a penalty. We’ve got to eliminate that stuff. I thought flow-wise offensively we were able to move around and get into things with what we’re doing. We were able to communicate well and things like that, but we’ve got to eliminate mistakes.”

Versailles, meanwhile, made it three-for-three on scoring drives as the Tigers went 75 yards on eight plays with George Grow scoring on a 3-yard run to make it 21-0 just six seconds into the second quarter.

Greenville’s offense continued to struggle early in the second quarter with another three and out, but the defense stepped up with an interception by Alec Fletcher.

Following another Greenville punt, Versailles again was moving the ball well, but Fletcher intercepted another pass to end the scoring threat.

“He made a couple nice plays out there,” Shaffer said. “It’s one of those young guys making plays, which is good.”

Neither team was able to score late in the half with Versailles missing a 25-yard field goal as time expired.

To start the second half, Versailles’ offense started firing on all cylinders again. The Tigers went 70 yards in nine plays with Grisez again scoring, this time from 6 yards out.

“Our senior skill players are definitely a strength for us,” Miller said. “I think even on the line, too, I was impressed with the way our line was blocking up front.”

Greenville’s first drive of the second half started off well with a 16-yard run but ended with an interception by Versailles’ Evan Hiestand.

After the interception both teams traded punts then on the final varsity possession of the night Versailles marched down to the Greenville 2-yard line but didn’t score prior to running out of time in the third quarter.

Both schools got 20 offensive plays for its junior varsity and freshmen players to finish up the night. Versailles scored once and also intercepted a pass with the younger players on the field.

While he would have liked his team to have played better, Shaffer thinks Friday’s experience will ultimately be positive for Greenville.

“You can’t replicate that in practice no matter how you try so hopefully the experience they got tonight in terms of the game itself helps, but, yeah, we’ve got another week to work,” he said. “We’re not panicking.”

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Versailles’ Kurtis Rutschilling makes a catch during a scrimmage against Greenville on Friday in Versailles.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/08/web1_Kurtis-Rutschilling-WEB.jpgVersailles’ Kurtis Rutschilling makes a catch during a scrimmage against Greenville on Friday in Versailles. Kyle Shaner | The Daily Advocate

By Kyle Shaner

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Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.